Monday, March 1, 2010

Budget Update

As much I typically don't like discussing money, I'm willing to lay it on the line for the sake of keeping me on track and accountable and hopefully helping someone else who may be new to budgeting. The totals for February, my second month of budgeting, are in: I came just under budget and saved 40%.

However, I learned a few things about my spending and have adjusted the budget to meet them. Originally, I had set aside $150 a week for groceries (I know, an exorbitant amount for you Uba-budgeters). I've since learned that $125 a week or $500 a month is reasonable for four trips to Kroger, one trip to Earthfare, and hopefully two trips to farmers markets starting in spring. I suppose that's not terrible given that we never eat out.

I had originally budgeted $50 a week for the other household spending: Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and craft stores. I've since decided to bump that number up to $300 a month ($75 a week) and include clothing and consignment spending. There should be months that I come well under that number but when you and your son need a new pair of sneakers and you have five birthday parties to attend, that can blow the budget quickly if you haven't built in some buffer. I'd rather be reasonable in my expectations and come under budget than always beating myself up for going over.

So the totals: I spent $779.83 (out of $800 budgeted) and saved $512.89 (40%). Of that total, $496.57 went to groceries and $283.26 went to household goods. That doesn't include the freebies I wouldn't have gone for otherwise (like the Chick-fil-A breakfasts). I got $10 in rebate checks which goes towards next month's budget, I stock piled a number of gifts, and I bought several board games I'm looking forward to playing with friends. We'll see what March brings. And for those of you out of state, we have a pretty high sales tax in TN (about 9%) and that really adds up when you're budgeting. No sympathy? Darn!

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